“(Lat. inunguere, “to anoint”) Pouring, spreading, or rubbing holy oil upon persons to consecrate or set them apart for service or devotion. In Israel, priests (Exod. 29:1–9) and kings (1 Sam. 10:1–8; 16:13) were anointed and thus called “the Lord’s anointed” (1 Sam. 24:6; Heb. mashiah).”
Generally speaking, to "anoint" is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions. People and things are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a sacramental or divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, power or god. It can also be seen as a spiritual mode of ridding persons and things of dangerous influences, as of demons (Persian drug, Greek κηρες Keres, Armenian dev) believed to be or to cause disease. "Unction" is another term for anointing. The oil may be called "chrism." The word has been known in English since c. 1303, deriving from the Old French enoint "smeared on", pp. of enoindre "smear on", itself from Latin inunguere, from in- "on" + unguere "to smear." Originally it only referred to grease or oil smeared on for medicinal purposes; it's use in the Coverdale Bible in reference to Christ (cf. The Lord's Anointed, see Chrism) has spiritualized the sense of it, a sense expanded and expounded upon by St Paul's writings in his "Epistles". The title Christ is derived from the Hebrew Messiah and means literally; covered in oil, anointed.
The idea of anointing is a somewhat popular term in Christian circles, and it is especially common in charismatic and pentecostal circles to refer to the power of God or the Spirit of God residing in a Christian, which is also found in the Bible (e.g. in 1 John 2:20,27). An expression with this term is "the anointing that breaks the yoke", which is derived from Isaiah 10:27. The context of this passage refers to the yoke of Sennacherib, and how his oppressive nature is overturned by that of Hezekiah who was said to be as mild as oil.
I personally believe strongly in anointing as it is used throughout Scripture. I always carry some anointing oil on my keychain to have it handy in case I'm called to pray for someone who is sick. Jesus anointed the sick (e.g. John 9:6,11-mud, Mark 8:22-26-spit and will in Revelation 3:18-eye salve) and the disciples anointed the sick with oil (e.g. Mark 6:13). We are not sure if Jesus ever anointed with oil but it is not mentioned in the Bible. James 5:14 says directly, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."
I also believe people can have an "anointing" (definitions are essential) but I believe this is sometimes being abused. People are talking about their own "anointing" and I'm not sure that's the case, especially when I hear their teaching and occasional boasting about themselves. Regardless, I believe the Holy Spirit does "anoint" certain believers in ministry.
Acts 10:38 says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" and then 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 states, "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." 1 John 2:20 states, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." 1 John 2:27 states, "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."
We need to be anointing people for healing but I believe the most important anointing comes from intimacy with God, which results in having an anointing of the Holy Spirit. This is essential if we are to walk in the power of God and accomplish our purpose/destiny, which is written in a book in heaven. We will be rewarded for how much we accomplish. This has nothing to do with earning salvation as that was accomplished through Jesus Christ's death on the cross. When we are genuinely converted and become a genuine Christian, good works (aka fruit) are going to naturally flow out of our lives and we will become more like Christ.
I pray that you walk in the anointing of God, grow much fruit, and accomplish what He has for you!FOOTNOTES:
1. Donald K. McKim. “The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition: Revised and Expanded.
© Todd Tyszka
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